These easy vegan chickpea walnut taco meat crumbles are packed with healthy plant based protein, and also take just 5 minutes of prep time! (Gluten-free, oil-free.)
These vegan Chickpea Walnut Taco Crumbles are an easy, healthy meat substitute with great texture!
They make a fantastic base for tacos, burritos, nachos, Mexican-inspired salads, and more.
Plus they are a good source of plant-based protein and fiber.
And they only take 5 minutes of preparation time!
Ingredients for Chickpea Taco Meat
For this recipe you will combine in a food processor then bake in the oven:
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): You will need one 15 ounce can of chickpeas for this recipe. However if you cook your own beans from scratch, you will need about 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas.
- Walnuts: I use raw, unsalted. If you are using salted walnuts, simply reduce the salt in your taco seasoning if desired.
- Taco seasoning: I suggest using homemade, but you can also use your favorite store-bought seasoning. My easy homemade mixture has warm spices like chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Nutritional yeast: This is optional, for cheesy savory flavor.
Healthy alternative: These are much healthier than store-bought versions of vegan beef-style crumbles because they are made with simple, whole-food, plant-based ingredients and no oil!
Texture notes: If you prefer your crumbles tiny + crispy, pulse them longer into a finer meal.
Otherwise, to make them "juicier" add an additional 1-2 Tbsp. water and pulse just a few times to form larger crumbles.
The recipe below is a happy medium between the two, so play around to find the texture you love!
Spoon this vegan taco meat on corn tortillas, hard taco shells, burrito bowls, or large tortillas. Then add your favorite toppings before serving such as:
- Salsa Fresca (pico de gallo)
- Guacamole or avocado
- Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa
- Vegan Cashew Queso
- Romaine lettuce, fresh tomatoes, onion, cilantro
- Vegan shredded cheese or vegan sour cream
- A squeeze of fresh lime juice
- Hot sauce to taste
Tip: We also enjoy these crumbles paired with black beans in this Vegan Taco Salad with Creamy Southwestern Dressing.
Store any leftover crumbles in a sealed container in the refrigerator. We find they keep for about 3-4 days.
Reheating: For reheating leftovers, simply add a touch of water, stir, then microwave to heat through. They become slightly dried out after refrigerating, but adding a little water re-hydrates them beautifully.
Chickpea-Walnut Taco Crumbles
- 15 oz. can chickpeas
- 3/4 cup walnuts (I use raw, unsalted)
- 3 Tbsp. taco seasoning (recipe below)
- 1 Tbsp. water
- Optional: 2-3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast for cheesy version
For the Taco Seasoning:
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. paprika (I like smoked paprika)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Make the taco seasoning: Add all seasoning ingredients to a small bowl or jar and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Rinse and drain chickpeas.
- In a food processor, add chickpeas, walnuts, taco seasoning, and 1 Tbsp. water. (Plus nutritional yeast if using.)
- Pulse a few times until small/medium crumbles are formed. Don't over-process to super-fine crumbles, unless that's what you desire. (See notes below on how to achieve various textures.)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out crumbles.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Stir, then return to oven and bake for 10-12 more minutes. (Or to desired crispiness.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying these chickpea walnut taco meat crumbles, also check out:
- Portobello Mushroom Fajitas
- Broccoli Cashew Stir Fry (Oil Free)
- Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Mushroom Pasta
- Easy Peanut Noodles